Everton vs Southampton

by | 15/04/2016  99 Comments  [Jump to last]
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James McCarthy is suspended after picking up two bookings in the draw at Palace in midweek

Updated Everton's preparations for the FA Cup semi-final come down to two more Premier League games in the space of four days as Southampton make the trip north to Merseyside looking to build on their recent good form.

Roberto Martinez insists that neither he nor his players are looking ahead yet to the cup semi-final but no one is really under any illusions that since the three successive home league defeats to West Brom, West Ham and Arsenal, the focus has squarely been on trying to establish some kind of momentum ahead of the trip to Wembley.

Three successive away games, each marginally more encouraging than the last, will have done little to boost morale given that they yielded just one goal, two points, and mounting injury concerns. What's more, the Blues remain in the bottom half of the table as they finally return home for the first time in almost a month. Martinez says it is "hard to explain" his team's home form which has been poor and, not surprisingly, some of the bookmakers are offering very similar odds for a home or away victory. Learn more here.

That homecoming will bring with it its own anxieties. Often relieved to get out on the road and escape the pressures of Goodison Park, Everton's manager faced the first visible signs of supporter opposition to his continued tenure with banners at Vicarage Road last weekend. And the atmosphere for the visit of the Saints could be a tentative one as Blues fans await to see which Everton will show up.

For a start, it will be a necessarily changed line-up as Phil Jagielka faces his fight to be fit for next weekend's cup tie and James McCarthy serves a one-game suspension following his red card at Crystal Palace in midweek. In addition to Tom Cleverley who missed the goalless draw at Selhurst Park, Martinez also has concerns over Aaron Lennon (hamstring), Ross Barkley (knee), Leighton Baines (groin) and now Romelu Lukaku (groin).

The Catalan was likely to make changes for either this game or the Anfield derby next Wednesday but those knocks will likely enforce a number of them to be made this weekend. Muhamed Besic is a natural replacement for McCarthy, Gerard Deulofeu would likely get the nod to come in for Lennon, Bryan Oviedo can deputise for Baines, and either Steven Pienaar or Kevin Mirallas could fill in for Barkley. Arouna Kone's disappointing showing against Palace could even open the door to both the South African and the Belgian to start, although the Ivorian could end up leading the line in place of Lukaku.

For their part and having recovered from their mid-season wobble, Southampton will travel to Merseyside in confident mood. Ronald Koeman's side have won three of their last five games in the league and they've moved up to seventh in the table, just three points off fifth.

Graziano Pellé and Sadio Mané are back in goalscoring form at one end while the combination of Jose Fonte, Virgil van Dyke and the in-form Fraser Forster have made the Saints difficult to beat at the other.

In many ways, they're not the kind of opposition Everton will look forward to facing as they look to improve on their poor home record but Martinez will look to leverage the psychological weapon that was the emphatic win his team registered in the reverse fixture at the St Mary's Stadium in August.

A 3-0 victory that day on the back of one of the Blues' best performances of the season, one that sadly proved to be a mirage in terms of the way the season has unfolded, was an example of what Everton are capable of when they're in full flow. If they can recapture some of that unbridled attacking play this weekend, it will be a timely revival with the all-important cup date with United looming ever closer.

Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Craig Pawson
Predicted Line-up: Robles, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Barry, Besic, Pienaar, Deulofeu, Mirallas, Lukaku Kone

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (99)

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Kieran Fitzgerald
1 Posted 15/04/2016 at 06:52:04
Have a feeling we're going to get hammered.
Andy Meighan
2 Posted 15/04/2016 at 06:58:10
Well said, Lyndon.

But how many of us are going into games confident now? Not many, that's for sure!

A tough home game, the derby, and the semi-final... one of the biggest weeks for seasons and we've got no form whatsoever.

I really don't think the injuries will play any part at all. Every single one of our players have been poor in recent weeks and the worrying thing is we are creating nothing. Never mind a win – I can't see us scoring.

I haven't felt this despondent being an Evertonian for many years and can't see no end to the current slump. My prediction is a draw tomorrow, 0-0; defeat over there on Wednesday night, and a comfortable 1-0 win for Man Utd in the semi-final. God, Martinez... I despise you.

John Keating
3 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:04:52
Although I hate to say it, I just can't see us getting another win this season, hopefully I'm proved wrong!

For me, it is all about "damage limitation" When I see what happened last night at the other place and what we have been subject too over the last 2 years.... I could cry.

Anyway there is a slight chance we could see the manager who will be leading us into next season's campaign on Saturday, hopefully he isn't Spanish.

Ian Brandes
4 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:05:58
Across the park, they have Mr Klopp, while we endure Mr Flop.

But surely we are due a win, aren't we?

James Hughes
5 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:10:35
I don't want to be all doom and gloom but the Orcs of Mordor showed real character last night and showed how to scrap and win a game.

Can we please show the same application and determination? Otherwise, I fear we Robles will end up with a bad back.

Jason Barker
6 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:12:48
The season's a write-off. I for one would take us losing every game until the end of the season if it meant that Martinez got the boot. I worry that a good cup result may give him a stay of execution. I just want the fucker gone.
Phil Walling
7 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:33:43
Nothing that happens over there has any place in our consideration of our team's chances against Southampton.

If you want to follow the money, the bookies have us as marginal favourites at 8/5 whilst Saints are available at 21/11. The most likely outcome of yet another draw has an attraction at 5/2.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:33:46
I expect nothing more than our usual routine home defeat by a well drilled well organized Southampton team, oh wait, that's what happens when you have a intelligent manager.

No doubt our players will stroll about the pitch looking a quarter interested as per usual, no pressing, no energy, no excitement.

What gets me is soft lad Martinez thinks in the last two months we have been a really good attacking team.

We have failed to score in 5 of our last 7 league games!!

Great when you have got a manager that tells it like it is isn't it?

Martin Nicholls
9 Posted 15/04/2016 at 07:35:02
Unlike most, and being an eternal optimist, I think we'll win tomorrow. It would be just typical for us to turn up and win the one game that would help the RS move up the table!
Paul Conway
10 Posted 15/04/2016 at 08:11:32
Can Lukaku find more goals? Or is he starting to carry a 'Soft Toffee' injury, just like Kone, McGeady and Niasse before him.
Ian Burns
11 Posted 15/04/2016 at 08:24:48
I don't know what Klopp is sprinkling over the park but after last night's performance I pray some of it blows in the wind across to GP so our players can sample what character is all about. God knows we are going to need some of it over the coming week.
Terry Murphy
12 Posted 15/04/2016 at 08:35:40
Win-win for me. Either we win and start to build or momentum towards Wembley or we lose and Roberto will start to build momentum towards the exit door.
Gareth Clark
13 Posted 15/04/2016 at 08:43:12
With niggles to Barkley, Lennon and Baines, and with Lukaku's lack of effort - I'd hope for this line up (4-4-1-1):

Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway;
Mirallas, Barry, Besic, Oviedo;

This would allow Deulofeu the freedom to focus on attack, while having the defensive qualities of Oviedo and Galloway, with Mirallas tracking back.

Will Martinez have the balls to drop Lukaku? I doubt it.

Christy Ring
14 Posted 15/04/2016 at 09:11:35
What a difference, when a good manager, with an average team, picks players in their proper positions, with the right shape and tactics, and makes proper substitutions, and inspires the team to succeed. Imagine what he could do if he had players like Coleman, Stones, Barkley, McCarthy, Deulofeu and Lukaku in his squad.

John Hammond
15 Posted 15/04/2016 at 09:19:10
Gareth (#14): I quite like that lineup. The way this season's gone we need to try something different for once rather than the same formation and players each week. Give Niasse a chance up front, let him grow into the game and see what happens!
Mark Andrews
16 Posted 15/04/2016 at 09:19:48
I hear that Niasse is nearly 62% ready for action. The other lot have belief borne from confidence, they're still the very average team Brenda left behind. That belief comes from Klopp.

We have no confidence in Martinez and that shows in the way we play. Confidence is shot, players are eyeing their next move (who can blame them?) And the fans are upset.

With the appointment of Martinez, we've squandered our best chance in decades.

Thanks for nothing, phenomenal Bobby brown shoes.

Chris Kelly
17 Posted 15/04/2016 at 09:36:39
Agree, we don't want to focus on the other side too much, but as with Leicester it does show the art of the possible with good inspirational management. What I think we all agree is that we want some of that passion, luck or determination that generates fantastic results.

I hope Roberto goes at the end of the season, but I do hope we can have some fantastic results along the way. In some ways the Board will become more important than ever.

If they go for a Klopp type or other proven winner/big name I think it says what our intention is. That will drive whether our recruitment over the summer is successful. If we don't and look at 34-year-olds like Carrick and bargain basement, we will lose our current stars and risk being a mid table side for even longer.

We are losing traction again with the Reds, Man Utd, Chelsea even, when on paper, our squad for the first time in many years is competitive. Let alone struggling against teams who have only just come up! The next few months I think could determine our destiny for the next few years.

Phil Sammon
18 Posted 15/04/2016 at 09:46:25
Clearly I don't want the team I love to lose. However, I fear a win will prolong the inevitable.

Can we just get the guy out now instead of this god awful slow sinking waiting game.

We need a change. That is the only way to get the fans on the players back on side. It doesn't even have to be a permanent replacement. Just get somebody in and get the players playing for their shirts next year.

We might even lift a cup if someone gets him out the door fast enough.

Dennis Stevens
19 Posted 15/04/2016 at 09:54:12
Spot on Phil, there's nothing to be gained from keeping Martinez in the post now.
Paul Kennedy
20 Posted 15/04/2016 at 10:31:45
Lost interest... I just want the clown gone.
Michael Neely
21 Posted 15/04/2016 at 10:53:48
I'm with Gareth (#14) pick Niasse – he can't pass, can't turn, can't dribble, and has no sense of direction. Should fit right in with some of the squad who have under performed.

I'm not going to blame Martinez for all the failings of the team, some of the players have not performed to the levels they are capable of, but some times selection could have been better (Kone should never play; Mirallas should always play) and substitutes have been baffling at times.

With the performances of the younger players when called upon we shouldn't feel uneasy about tomorrows game, it's that old cliché, "It depends on which Everton shows up."

David Milner
22 Posted 15/04/2016 at 10:56:08
Exactly my selection Gareth 14. Lukaku is carrying a knock so will probably be rested. Courtney Dufus won Premier League under 21 Player of the Month, so let's see him on the bench. Alongside Joe Williams, Kieron Dowell, Mason Holgate & David Henen.

But I think bobby brown shoes will put Oviedo at left back & Pienaar at left wing.

Phil Walling
23 Posted 15/04/2016 at 11:02:14
As I keep saying, I don't think' the powers that be' consider things to be as desperate as TWers are making out!

No doubt there is frustration but this call for instant action is not likely to be on the menu with the Wembley game so imminent. Kenwright would be seen to have made the wrong decision, whether we win or lose it!

My bet is that Martinez will see out the season regardless of the FA Cup.

Jim Bennings
24 Posted 15/04/2016 at 11:23:46
What's the point in sacking Martinez after the week from hell though?? We should have got a new man in to breath life and galvanize the team for the biggest week in the clubs recent history.

Once we get tanned at Anfield and do our usual big game no-show at Wembley, the vast majority of course will have lost heart of interest in even anything remotely to do with Everton.

Can you imagine what the atmosphere will be like at hone to Bournemouth after those two likely expected defeats?? I think the next week will decide whether many Everton fans have been to the last game certainly of this season.

It's all or nothing this next week.

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 15/04/2016 at 11:50:43
Lukaku and Barkley will be rested tomorrow so my team would be:

Funes Mori

Subs: Howard, Galloway, Holgate, Mirallas, Pienaar, Dowell, Henen.

Damian Wilde
26 Posted 15/04/2016 at 12:04:16
Press conference:

"The last two performances have been really strong."

We drew against Watford and Pslace so they clearly weren't strong performances.

Here's the biggee:

"Our away record would be top four in the league."
To correct you we're 6th in the away table. To fully correct you home and away games count in the league. Defies belief.

Patrick Murphy
27 Posted 15/04/2016 at 12:07:58
Colin (#27),

If Kone and Niasse start up front there might be more than a few grumbles from the stands, in fact the place would probably go ballistic.

Baines will probably be rested along with Lukaku, Barkley and Lennon so we'll need to find a way of introducing one or two youngsters, whilst keeping some experience in the team. It would seem that Roberto has decided, if the 'injured' players recover in time, to play as full a strength team as possible in midweek and hope that the home fans can inspire the youngsters to perform well tomorrow.

Southampton, another of the clubs we used to look forward to playing at Goodison, will probably be added to the growing list of visitors who will relish playing us on our own patch, and will likely return home with at least a point.

Mike Allen
28 Posted 15/04/2016 at 12:17:45
With all the claptrap that comes from Martinez we wouldn't know if he has genuine injuries or some other reason for not having a settled side. Wouldn't you think the sensible thing would be to have a settled balanced squad going into the semi, even if, which seems likely, he has fallen out with half of them, because, for two seasons, his selections can't have been for football reasons.

He keeps on about the squad but he can't handle a squad of that size; it is too big for him. I am convinced his subs are pre-judged before the game and go in that rigid order at pre set times with total disregard to state of the game. Looks like some of the players not seen for god knows how long will get a run out. Let's hope they do themselves proud because they must be well pissed off.

Anto Byrne
29 Posted 15/04/2016 at 12:41:58
Klopp has won the crowd; he asked them for their voices and they obliged. They raised the roof. The manager instilled a sense of belief. I might not like the RedShite but Klopp has to be admired.

For 2 seasons we have fallen away and 12th looks likely. There can only be one course of action and that is to remove Martinez from Everton. The next 2 games are critical; after the game at Anfield, if we lose these games, then we need to call time and appoint Joe Royle as caretaker.

Colin Williams
31 Posted 15/04/2016 at 12:53:08
Gutted, we're a fecking shambles! Just don't know where to start... So much wrong with our club at present, can't think of anything positive other than our younger lads.

Embarrassed and envious by the RedShite across the park leading by example with... Desire, team spirit; heart, players playing for the manager and fans; leadership all over the park and with a fecking average team! And our lot struggle to play with a wimper!

Yes, I blame our manager... we are following his shit boring philosophy – ideas, belief's, vision or total lack of it!...Played, coached and managed all my life....

I've never been involved with a manager who is so weak and up his own arse! How I wish for a gaffer to lead our players and the incredible fans in the right direction without any fecking bullshit!

Totally gutted and fecking embarrassing for so many proud loyal Blues!! He really has messed our club up.

Ray Smith
33 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:20:11
Phil (#25),

Phil I hope you're wrong.

However, what you say is probably about right.

Jay Harris
34 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:25:20
The noise from the board meeting after the Palace game has been deafening.

Anyway back to the team. I think we should promote one or two youngsters like Dowell and Henen to the squad however Galloway has shown an alarming drop in form since his heady days in the first team so I wouldn't consider him.

As Phil says I wouldn't expect any change in Martinez position until the end of the season unless there is an unlikely fans revolt at Goodison Part so I guess we'll have to put up with it for now.

I hope the players put a shift in so at least the supporters can get behind them going into the derby. I also hope Mirallas and Deulofeu are allowed some game time to get fit before the semi.

Denis Richardson
35 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:36:57
Usually when injuries force Martinez to make changes, we put in a decent performance (presumably as the players who normally don't get a sniff try to stake a claim). Once the injuries go away, we go straight back to the side and tactics that didn't work!

For this reason alone I think we may get something out of tomorrows game. The likes of Oviedo, Deulofeu and Mirallas will be trying to put in a decent performance to get into the semi-final side. Even Pienaar may be making a late claim for a semi-final farewell appearance.

Southampton can go 5th if they win tomorrow so they're not on the beach just yet. Koeman will have them up for it but I fancy us to not lose at least. If we didn't have the injuries and McCarthy was not suspended, I would not be as confident of getting anything.

Denis Richardson
36 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:39:06
Colin 27 - you do want us to score tomorrow, right?
Colin Glassar
37 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:47:14
Well you never know Denis. This could be like Cole and Yorke or, more likely, Laurel and Hardy. This duo could confuse the hell out of Southampton.
Ste Traverse
39 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:53:19
If we lose tomorrow I can see an open revolt.

And that fucking knob Kenwright still wouldn't sack him.

Clive Rogers
40 Posted 15/04/2016 at 13:55:44
Don't think Niasse will feature. He's become an embarassment.
Dennis Ng
41 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:00:03
Ste, the earliest possible date of RM's demise is the 24th, so....
Jason Thomas
42 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:00:58
The club is bigger than any player or manager. We all need to put all the shit to one side tomorrow and get right behind the team that takes the park. Every one of those players will want to win the match and so should every one who is there supporting our club. Those who want us to lose should hang your heads in shame.
Kunal Desai
43 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:09:06
"Eight defeats at home is nowhere near good enough and very difficult to explain"

What a poor excuse, difficult to explain? You would get more credit if you had said you take some responsibility in these results. He's been bashed from pillar to post so will leave it there.

Denis Richardson
45 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:11:22
Right Col, the old false sense of security trick.

Kone - Niasse strike force, I actually would love to see that, just for the laughs. One cost £13.5m and the other's just gotten a contract extension.

Would be funny if it wasn't all true...

I just bought an Everton chef's hat off the OS. Have no idea why, was in the clearance section – that's another one I'll need to explain to the better half....

Dave Lynch
46 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:16:53
4-5-1, 6-3-1, 4-3-3, 5-3-2 ????

Will someone explain to me what's wrong with a plain old fashioned 4-4-2 ?

Played correctly it's the best system around, effective and simple to understand.

James Hughes
47 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:18:24
Look on the bright side, if we don't know what Niasse can do then the RS can't have a clue either. They will have to base their defensive strategy on YouTube clips.
Franny Porter
48 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:20:47

Funes Mori




This is the team I'd like to see... but the team I reckon I will see is:


Funes Mori




Miles Jordan
49 Posted 15/04/2016 at 14:28:12
"What a manager!"

I suggest you take a look across Stanley Park, Bill, to see what we deserve at Everton. He managed to get a phenomenal performance from a bunch of donkeys last night!

Mike Allen
50 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:14:24
Reading Roberto today, Niasse is for next season; we are getting him geared up for the pre season training by all accounts.

Good shout, Anto: Big Joe till end of season and to oversee the recruitment for a new manger and coaching staff. Next season is a rebuild back to basics – how about Big Joe and Alan Stubbs along with Sheedy and Unsworth? We don't know how good big Dunc is... I don't think he has much of a say under Martinez and friends; otherwise, there would be a little bit more fire in their belly.

Because we think we have a few bob, we don't have to go abroad; overseas is only short term... do you think Klipity will be over the park in 3 years time?

Chin up, everybody – we are what we are... good days and bad days will come and go again and again.

Steven Smith
51 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:03:46
That's another interview I have failed to finish listening to. I can't believe we've been subjected to his nonsense for this long. Why wouldn't anyone tell him how to construct one decent interview and give the fans something to feel positive about?

Not sure about the next two games, but hope we beat the Mancs. Regardless of the outcome, your time will soon be up, Roberto!

Kev Wood
52 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:04:22
Time for all good and true blues to get behind anybody who wears a blue shirt in the next 9 days. We want passion from the players so let's have some passion at the Old Lady tomorrow and from our section of the Anfield Road stand on Wednesday.

We all have a good idea about what's up and what needs to change but let's go to Wembley as fighters, not a bunch of know-all gobshites. We can spend the summer moaning if we want but now is the time to wear blue with attitude and pride.

Ged Simpson
53 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:10:30
But Kev... everyone is fed up and that matters more!
Patrick Murphy
54 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:50:37
I sometimes don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read what Roberto has to say at any particular time. Today's new intriguing, mystifying insight into the way Roberto thinks, is too much for me to decipher. is he a realist? Is he pragmatic? Is he a defeatist? Is he the manager?


Kev Wood
55 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:56:44
Sorry, Ged ,we're going to have to disagree here. I was fed up after my short journeys back from Watford and Palace, fed up when a Kopite I knew turned up the rendition of Celtic's song in the pub last night, made up at half time in their game, fed up in the 93rd minute of their game and for most of today – but most of all, made up to be heading north to tomorrow's game in a couple of hours.

Stuff fed up, it doesn't mean anything. Let's get behind the players again. Midway through the second half at Palace Lukaku beckoned us to get behind the team. I thought "I know what to do – but are you giving everything?"

But we're in it together, at least until the night of Saturday 23 April (and possibly beyond). Come on, you Blues!

Dennis Ng
57 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:05:10
Patrick, the article seems like a distraction and a late, poor attempt to score some brownie points. Uncle Moshiri probably told them to start packing and they just want a nice farewell party at the end now.
Stephen Sullivan
58 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:14:01
I'm not interested in the Derby game (for the first time ever). If we play a full (or near) strength team we will still most likely lose or draw at best. Rather play a second string (those not needed for the semi-final) and tell them to go out and give their all and to express themselves. We get hammered? Well it a learning curve for some players and those that can't cope psychologically with a mauling well they not up to it anyhow. You never know, we might just win?

Keep the players as fresh as possible for the semi-final. Motivation will not be a problem for that so Martinez not required to do something not within his compass.

When the times arrives (probably in next fortnight) for Martinez to go then I agree with a few here in that Big Joe be given a caretaker role to tide us over. Even better if he could take over now as his Big personality and blue blood could see us win the semi final and even final.

One thing is for sure. Big Joe is at least Klopp's equal on the motivational front. Every club Joe managed or played for loved him. In my humble opinion, Joe Royle is the greatest living Evertonian.

Paul Cullinane
59 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:29:26
I am ever hopeful, but seldom confident.

The result is unimportant. What is important is our display. Surely the prospect of a semi-final will inspire the lads.

I know we will be playing at our bogey ground (Goodison Park), but just give us something to cheer!! COYB

Steve Woods
60 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:38:28
Such a shame that Koeman and his assistants will be in the wrong dugout tomorrow! What a season we might have had if they were managing us. Unfortunately his contract renegotiations with Southampton are "progressing well" according to the beeb.
Paul Smith
61 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:19:17
My team for tomorrow would be as follows

Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Oviedo;
Barry, Besic, Pienaar
Deulofeu, Mirallas;

I think we need to take a longer look at Niasse because what bit I've seen so far fills me with dread. I would also rest our so-called big players for the derby (which I'm dreading again) but next Saturday is the main focus.

By the way, at 2/1, Southampton have got to be the bet of the weekend.

Declan Brown
62 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:25:13
Here's the way I see it.

Martinez will be definitely here until after the semi, at least, depending on the result. My money is on him seeing the season out unless something is really rotten in the dressing room and the Chairman / Owner has to take immediate drastic action.

I want us to win the FA Cup regardless of whether we keep Roberto or not, we're too close to it to cut our noses off to spite our face, it gets more agonising the closer you get, do what we have to do to get our hands on the FA Cup, be as pragmatic or flukey as much as we need to. I'm not in the camp of losing in the semi is ok to get rid of Roberto. We're playing Man Utd for God's sake, lose to them or Liverpool just to get rid of a manager, never, we're better than that, don't give them the pleasure, just win at all costs, I don't care how, just win it and then the Final too.

We'll lose the Derby, that one game gives me a stomach ulcer every year and watching it costs me a new TV every season (yeah, I've got anger issues because of that lot LOL, goes back to the Moyes era of perpetual capitulation through fear before we even got out of the tunnel). I fear a real brutal beating, could be worse than the 4-0 a couple of years ago.

Christ what i'd do for a Joe Royle type of manager for the coming games, get them fit, organised, never say die and tackle anything that moves mentality added to the quality and skill the players have.

Next season, it's Koeman for me, worst case scenario Mark Hughes to come in and sort the malaise out for a couple of years to steady the ship before getting a better manager. Koeman at all costs, even if just for a few seasons to bring us back into regular top 7 contention again. Sadly I think Koeman will be eyeing a bigger job than ours.

Another year of Roberto? Can't even think of that as a reality, this has gone too far past the point of no return with Roberto and that's with 2 huge games next week. He's going nowhere at least until after the semi final, it's too late for his removal now.

If we lose the semi right after the Derby the next home game, that's when the fans must vent their anger and frustration, think there's only 2 games left at home after the semi. Bill and Mr Moshiri must know the score without any doubt if it's worst case scenario and we lose the derby and the semi. Time is running out on that.

Lose the derby and the semi and Goodison will be toxic for it's next game, rightly so in my opinion. You pay your money to attend –you're right to voice your opinion...

Difficult 9 days ahead, folks...

Christopher Jacobsen
63 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:32:46
I would have gone for 50% Hibbert as a striker. Feed Hibbo and he will score. Better than Kone and Niasse.
Martin Mason
64 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:07:02

For 4-4-2 to work you need very good midfielders as you're often one short against teams playing 5 men. Nobody really plays it in modern football.

4-3-3 and a flexible 4-5-1 are very much the same thing, it was how the late 60's and 1970 Everton played with a notional 4-3-3 but mostly 4-5-1 with Royle as the target man and Husband and Morrissey playing deeper. Wonderful fluid formation though because Wright and Wilson were very good overlapping full backs.

The funny thing was that we were usurped by the double winning Arsenal who played a very strong 4-4-2 with Radford and Kennedy up front and a strong midfield of Storey, Armstrong, Charlie George and George Graham. They were a great side.

Si Turner
65 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:30:06
I would rest our better players in the next two games.

I am sure some will argue we not beat Man Utc with our players fresh but we may not beat Southampton or Liverpool with a full team (ex suspensions and injuries).

I believe the doubts for tomorrow have a huge whiff of him resting the big players but not having the bottle to admit!

Alastair Donaldson
66 Posted 15/04/2016 at 20:11:36
Least we're not expecting much..so a win or draw tomorrow will do. Lyndon's line-up is decent on paper, not so good on grass tho.

Maybe the likes of Pienaar and Mirallas, if played will show up. Pienaar probably only needs to play one decent game to get another 3 years!
Hoping for a win... the wife is a Southy fan... the weekend could go be looong!

Martin Mason
67 Posted 15/04/2016 at 20:23:00
If it comes to it we must put out a reserve team at Anfield. We'll still win.
Tony Hill
68 Posted 15/04/2016 at 22:58:49
Jay (34), agreed about our youngsters. This is a difficult time for Evertonians, very difficult, but there are two special reasons for optimism: Dowell and Holgate (with honourable mentions for Kenny, Ledson, Walsh, Williams, Davies, Evans and Foulds).

But Dowell and Holgate, my word they're going to be good and they're ours. They should be given a try asap.

John Malone
69 Posted 15/04/2016 at 23:02:36
What we could have done with a bit of Naismith cut and thrust lately!
Dick Fearon
70 Posted 16/04/2016 at 06:22:39

At the very least he should give a debut to a youngster or maybe two.
If a few of these so called future super stars are not considered to be worth a place in this team of losers there's not much hope for us.
Anthony Burke
71 Posted 16/04/2016 at 07:27:23
If I were Roberto, I'd go with a defensive minded 4-4-2 side of

And when we are 3-0 down by half-time, I'd put Stones up front in place of Lukaku and swap Funes Mori in for Mirallas... but thank god I'm not Roberto. COYB!!!!

Barry Pearce
72 Posted 16/04/2016 at 08:34:49
Blood Dowell, today the lad oozes class. Even if it's from the bench.

Plus utter bollocks Bobby is renowned for giving youngsters a chance. In his own mind, that is.

Craig Mills
73 Posted 16/04/2016 at 08:58:30
Si @65, "rest our better players in the next 2 games" – who would you put in the category at the moment!! The team is playing awful, we have no form, no confidence, not scored in 5 out of the last 7 league games and a clown of a manager.

For me it doesn't matter who we start with, today will be a draw/loss, followed by a hammering at Anfield and an easy win for Man Utd at Wembley. Many have said on this post already but it's clear the team have lost interest in Martinez's ways, he'll be gone by the end of the season.

Craig Mills
74 Posted 16/04/2016 at 09:05:45
Agreed John @ 69. To think we sold Naismith and brought in Niasse is just another farce from Martinez. What other job could you waste £13.5m on something, pay it a weekly wage of probably £30-50k a week for it to be considered by the person who bought it not ready for 1st team action and considering letting him play in the Under-21s. I'm sure the Niasse signing will be another nail in the Martinez coffin!!
Kieran Fitzgerald
75 Posted 16/04/2016 at 09:13:29
The last thing we need is a game at Anfield followed by a semi-final at Wembley with the spirit and confidence within the squad right now. Unless something miraculous happens today, and we win big and win well to build confidence, we are going to get a hammering in the Liverpool and Man Utd games.

I'm not going to make any effort to watch the derby and may or may not watch the cup game, even though it's on BBC and I don't even have to get up off the couch.

Trevor Peers
76 Posted 16/04/2016 at 09:28:54
Normally I think you would be spot on Graig @74, but not at Everton. The only statement we have heard from Kenwright, about Roberto for two seasons, was his unbelievable comment after the Chelsea game.

Meanwhile, Martinez continues to talk utter rubbish most of the time completely unchecked by anyone at the club, I'd say his job is safe. No matter how much we protest.

Colin Metcalfe
77 Posted 16/04/2016 at 09:32:04
Very difficult to be positive about the blues at the moment, the team seems to have lost its way and yet I still believe we have some great young players. Such a shame Martinez has made such a botched job of managing these young kids.

As for today, I think the poor form will continue and we will scape a draw 1-1.

Tony Abrahams
78 Posted 16/04/2016 at 09:40:37
Ste 39, possibly why he's resting everyone today.

Biggest concern must be the centrebacks, we only have two fit.

Eddie Dunn
79 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:06:45
I wonder if Lukaku has had this groin problem for some time? It could explain his drop-off in form. Players are told not to let on about such things, look at Baines with his ankle problems.

Players are also desperate to continue playing, for their own reasons. Hope that if Rom is rested (as it could be more cloak and daggers), that he shows up for the Semi.

Eugene Ruane
80 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:09:27
For those who won't bet against us, today will possibly give you the best odds of the season for the home win - 21/10

Soton favourites at 6/4 ish

Have a feeling my despairing 'for fuck's sake Everton' record (437 times v Leicester) could go today.

Up the Toffees!

Sam Hoare
81 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:17:18
Let's get fresh:

Holgate, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines;
Besic, Barry;
Deulofeu, Dowell, Mirallas;

Neil Wood
83 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:26:52
Sam I like it...

Dowell... Start him.... Give him a chance to shine but with a buffer saying that if you happen to have a shit game don't worry about it. Express yourself, do what you can do and earn yourself a regular spot. What on earth have we got to lose?

Joe Edwards
84 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:40:42
I hate to say this but I really couldn't give a flying fuck about any of the games left to us this season. We haven't a hope in hell of progressing past Man Utd in the cup and it is hard to see us gaining anything other than the odd draw from our remaining Premier League games.

The only thing I am looking forward to is Mr Moshiri putting us all out of our misery by packing Mr Martinez and his team of Muppets off and bringing in a manager who can inspire and organise our talented team and get the defending and attacking in equally exiting measure – something Martinez seems to have completely coached out of our team.

Today's game should be an opportunity for the brown-shoed buffoon to blood young and fringe players and ascertain whether they can step up to the plate. If Kone starts ahead of Niasse, then that is confirmation for me that he is a dud and Martinez doesn't want to expose himself to even more criticism for buying an expensive donkey.

Other than that, today's game for me is an excuse to do the garden.

Andy Meighan
85 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:57:10
I'd love to see him throw caution to the wind and blood four or five kids today. We've got nothing to lose. We've got no chance of going down or troubling the European places. So why not go for it? They sure as hell couldn't do any worse.

As it is, the usual suspects will probably come into the equation – by that, I mean the fringe players Gibson, Pienaar, Osman, Oviedo, Howard etc. Sorry but we've been there and done that.

I can't personally see us getting much change out of an in-form Southampton. So why not try something different?

If they were to give us a hiding and the board decided enough is enough (I know, I know), my ideal scenario would be to give it to Royle and Unsworth until the end of the season. Imagine Big Joe's team talk before the derby and the semi. We might not win both but, by god, they'd know they'd been in a game!

As it is, regardless of today's result, he's not going anywhere.

Colin Malone
86 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:04:18
I wonder, do we have the same playing philosophy throughout the club? Does Kevin Sheedy have to abide to Martinez's way of playing? Does Unsy and Big Joe?

The reason why I am asking is, the fringe teams are doing well, I know it's not the same as the Premier League.

I don't go to these games, but I would like to know, do the fringe teams play the Martinez way?

Damian Wilde
87 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:39:07
Dowell looks great and I'd give him some game time, but Roberto loves Kone. Kone could not score for 200 games and he'd still be second choice.
Paul Olsen
88 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:47:59
We´ll get an absolutely phenomenal draw today. 1-1 would be my stab.
Colin Glassar
89 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:49:23
Roberto has three games left to save his neck. Will he do it?
Andrew Clare
90 Posted 16/04/2016 at 12:08:20
Resting players will be this week's excuse for losing and of course Kenwright and Co will buy it.
Tony Rutherford
91 Posted 16/04/2016 at 12:39:34
Occasionally when we have ended up with a forced change Martinez has got lucky. If Lukaku is injured then get Niasse in. We'll soon see if he's ready for the Premier league. Besic for McCarthy. Mirallas, Barkley and Deulofeu and the defence that played on Wednesday. Coybb give us something to cheer about for a change!
Amit Vithlani
92 Posted 16/04/2016 at 12:48:55
Mirallas has to be in this team. He has the quality in the final third and provided he avoids losing his head he can be our spark. If Lennon is not fit we have a serious problem as he has been our most energetic and threatening player. He was played out of position against Manyoo but always puts a shift in and generally had the pace to skin most full backs when played wide.
Andy Codling
93 Posted 16/04/2016 at 12:56:45
John 69 at least you would get some anger and passion from Naismith. A player not afraid to get in players and referees faces! We finished the last transfer window stronger, how?
Barry Jones
94 Posted 16/04/2016 at 12:57:37
I am not expecting anything decent today. Unlike us, Southampton are normally very well organised. It will be hard..........again. Unlike many of you I don't see any blue sky on the horizon with regards the dismissal of RM. Kenwright is too egotistical.

I think we need to capture Kenwright and start to pull his fingernails out one by one, and if this fails, we then start to remove his fingers. Just leave him a few to sign the dismissal paperwork. Sadly, it is the only way.

Ian McDowell
95 Posted 16/04/2016 at 13:06:11
Lose today and thats our 9th defeat at home this season. Whatever happens in the rest of the season, it's totally unacceptable and relegation form.
James Marshall
96 Posted 16/04/2016 at 13:15:14
What a position we supporters find ourselves in. We want the team to win, but that keeps the manager in a job.

Lose games and we finish bottom half and fail in the cup.....but maybe get rid of the manager.... Hmm.

Mike Powell
97 Posted 16/04/2016 at 13:20:02
I've lost interest in the league... Not going, I just want the clown Martinez out. When he goes, I will start going again.
Jamie Barlow
98 Posted 16/04/2016 at 13:35:15
I don't think it's a difficult or strange position to be in. I want the team to win and if that makes Martinez keep his job, so be it. Good. I want Martinez to succeed. I want Everton to succeed. It seems to be some on here don't want Martinez to do well because they don't like him, full stop.
Phil Sammon
99 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:13:57
Jamie 98


I want Everton to do well because I love Everton.

What I do not want is a manager who does 'just enough' to keep his job.

This man is taking us nowhere and whether we give him one match, one month or one year, it will not change.

I love Everton and I don't want us to waste our time with this guy in charge.

What I wish for is a board that accepts no less than myself. Sadly, that isn't the case. Therefore I wish for the only other way Martinez is going to fuck off before the end of the year.

Jamie Barlow
100 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:17:20
So which bit is Bollocks then?
James Marshall
101 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:30:48
Jamie. I want us to win. I also want a different manager. Simple I spose!
Jamie Barlow
102 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:33:19
As long as we win, I don't give a shite who our manager is James.
Phil Sammon
103 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:38:04
Jamie 100

It's 'bollocks' to suggest that supporting Everton has to include supporting Martinez.

Some of us have the prospect of supporting Everton for the next 60 years and, yes, would take another nail in RM's coffin if it meant a new manager and a better season next year.

Under this manager we are going nowhere but down.

Jamie Barlow
104 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:42:00
Phil, if you want Everton to do well at the moment, you have to want Martinez to well too. They come as a package you see.

"Some of us have the prospect of supporting Everton for the next 60 years and, yes, would take another nail in RM's coffin if it meant a new manager and a better season next year."

Does that mean you wouldn't mind us losing so Martinez gets sacked?

If so, that's where me and you differ. I can't want us to get beat. It just doesn't work for me. I want Roberto to win the FA cup. I want him to go on and win every game we have left this season. If he is here next season and I think he will be if we win the FA cup, I want him to win every game next season too.

If he doesn't improve drastically and he does get the sack, so be it. I won't lose any sleep over it.

Phil Sammon
105 Posted 16/04/2016 at 14:50:05
What if I choose the next 5 years over 'the moment'?

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